Billing problems

1899 and 18866 are two apparently linked low-cost telecoms companies. They’re so-named because that’s the prefix used to route through them.

Now some time ago I started using their services and wrote a couple of articles recommending them, with the proviso that you shouldn’t expect any kind of customer service. The company appears to be based in Switzerland and they don’t want to talk to anyone. But they’re legit. The only thing I said back then was to pay by credit card and get consumer protection. If you don’t mind this, they do deliver. Or did deliver.

After many years I had to change my credit card number, so I filled in the billing change for both companies. 1899 took no notice, and after several months tried to bill the old card – and was rejected. I made sure they had the right one, and told them to try again, but they wouldn’t. When I eventually got through to someone apparently from 1899 they said it was their policy not to try a card a second time and asked me to send the money using an international transfer, after which they’d start billing the card again. I don’t think so. This could have been anyone’s bank account, and if genuine it’s a very strange way to do business – as well as costing me £20 for the transfer. Apart from which, they weren’t trying to charge the old card again – it was a new number. That’s the point!

Their terms of business say you need to pay by credit card – no problem, they can charge the card.

They didn’t.

I wrote back saying charge the card, or if you really don’t want to, you can have cash. This is an offer to pay using legal tender – if they refused they won’t have a leg to stand on if they want the money any other way. I assumed they’d see sense.

They didn’t.

This went back and forth. I made it clear – charge the card (recommended), take the cash or I’ll see you in court. It’d be interesting to meet these guys if they went for one of the last two options.

It’s over a year now. I still owe them for the calls, and haven’t heard anything about it. It’s annoying that I owe them money. The service doesn’t work any more (unsurprisingly). I can manage without it. 18866 still works (that half of the company is using the correct card).

So do I still recommend 1899 and 18866? Well I suppose I do, but as I said in my original articles, it’s fine when it works but don’t expect any sane or sensible customer service if it doesn’t.

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